Articles written by Larry Persily

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 By Larry Persily    News    February 25, 2021 

New group wants to improve school and students' lives

A self-organized group of Wrangell high school and middle school students decided someone had to step up and try to make life better in the schools, and it might as well be them. "We want students to...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    February 25, 2021 

Legislature will consider boost to 1970 motor fuel tax rate

Alaska's motor fuel tax rate is the lowest in the nation; less than one-third the average of the other 49 states. The 8-cent-a-gallon tax has not budged since 1970. Lawmakers again this year will...

 

From the Publisher: These students set a better example than I did

The 18 or so Wrangell middle school and high school students who belong to BASE - Building a Supportive Environment - are the role models I never paid attention to when I was their age long ago...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    February 25, 2021 

Fourth of July needs royalty candidates

The Fourth of July is a little more than four months away but it's not too soon to begin planning for the event and start recruiting royalty candidates to help with fundraising. "We're planning a...

 

Tourism to focus on independent travelers and the small cruise ships

Independent travelers and passengers aboard small cruise ships are vital to Wrangell's tourism season, and they're exactly what the community is focusing on - regardless of Canada's decision to keep...

 

Statewide rental assistance program opens this week

Up to $200 million in federal funding is available to help Alaskans who are having trouble paying their rent due to a loss of income during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alaska Housing Finance Corp., a...

 

From the publisher: Sen. Murkowski did her job

Maybe you did not like her vote to convict former President Donald Trump in the Senate impeachment trial. Maybe you wanted her to stick with most Republicans who cast their ballot to acquit because...

 

State disaster declaration ends, airport COVID testing now optional

Testing for COVID-19 will continue at the Wrangell airport, and at other airports throughout Alaska, even though the state pandemic disaster declaration expired Sunday. However, the testing will be...

 

Legislators will want a say in spending additional federal pandemic aid

More than $6.5 billion in federal funding for pandemic relief has already been authorized for individuals, communities, school districts, businesses, health-safety programs, government agencies, the...

 

Loss of cruise travelers 'another year of hardship'

A month ago, the draft cruise ship schedule for Wrangell showed 50 stops in town, with the two largest vessels able to accommodate 1,100 and 1,300 passengers and crew. But now, there's not much the...

 

Federal relief equals half of school-year budget deficit

It helps, but it doesn't solve the problem. The latest round of federal relief aid is equal to about half of this year's school budget deficit. The $900 billion relief bill passed by Congress and sign...

 

Legislators more willing to talk about taxes this year

Maybe Alaskans just needed more time to get used to the idea of paying taxes, or maybe the risk of losing their Permanent Fund dividend woke them up to the state's dire fiscal situation. Whatever the...

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER: Sentinel cuts prices for ads in visitors guide

It is going to be another rough year for Southeast Alaska communities. The closure of Canadian waters to cruise ships on their way to and from Alaska is going to mean a lot fewer visitors to towns up...

 

Wrangell not listed in governor's proposed bond issue

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is asking lawmakers to put before voters this summer a $356 million bond issue for projects across the state. The governor wants a special election - rather than waiting until the n...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    February 4, 2021

Governor wants summer advisory vote on PFD

Gov. Mike Dunleavy is asking legislators for $2 million in state funds to hold a special election this summer, to ask voters their opinion of a Permanent Fund dividend that would average $2,400 a...

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER: Tell us what you're doing

Just because I don't use Facebook doesn't mean I don't see its value in spreading the word about community events online. Even better, people like it because it's free. But the Sentinel also does that...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    January 28, 2021

One weekly sailing each direction under summer ferry schedule

Wrangell would see one northbound and one southbound state ferry each week this summer, under the proposed schedule released Monday. That's one-third the level of service from 2017 to 2019, before...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    January 28, 2021

Alaskans await opening of new housing assistance program

The state of Alaska and the municipality of Anchorage will share in $200 million in new federal funds to help renters who have lost jobs or suffered economic hardship due to the ongoing COVID-19...

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER

It's good that President Joe Biden and members of Congress, Gov. Mike Dunleavy and members of the Alaska Legislature are all talking about doing more to help people hurt financially by the COVID-19 pa...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    January 21, 2021

CARES Act aid totals $8 million for businesses, nonprofits in town

Wrangell businesses and nonprofits received more than $8 million in federal and state CARES Act funds last year. "It absolutely made a difference, but it still wasn't enough," said Carol Rushmore,...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    January 21, 2021

COVID slowed down shipyard hauls in 2020

"Wrangell has become a center for vessel repair and services with the help of local investment and community support," said the United Fishermen of Alaska's 2020 annual report "Commercial Fishing...

 
 By Larry Persily    News    January 14, 2021

Governor makes dividends key element of legislative session

The Legislature is set to convene next week in Juneau, with the Permanent Fund dividend perhaps the biggest issue lawmakers will confront. Gov. Mike Dunleavy wants the state to pay individual Alaskans...

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER: It's up to Congress to do better

It was depressingly sad to watch the scenes in the Capitol last week as destructive rioters took over the historic building, furious at the outcome of the presidential election. I have been in the Cap...

 

Another year of state ferry budget stress

Between state budget cuts, a mainline vessel engine breakdown, a halt to port calls in Prince Rupert, B.C., and COVID-19 travel restrictions, the Alaska Marine Highway System has struggled the past...

 

FROM THE PUBLISHER: It's good to be back

Walking around Wrangell the days before Christmas, it felt much the same as when I first arrived in town in May 1976. People said hello, starting as soon as I stepped out of the airport terminal....

 

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